Skip to main content

Google Searching

This guide provides tips and techniques for searching Google.

Search Features

This page is taken directly from Google.  It describes useful tools one can use when looking for information.

 

Improve Your Search Experience

In addition to providing easy access to billions of web pages, Google has many special features to help you to find exactly what you're looking for. Some of our most popular features are listed below.


Everyday Essentials

Weather
To see the weather for many U.S. and worldwide cities, type "weather" followed by the city and state, U.S. zip code, or city and country.

Example:  


Stock Quotes
To see current market data for a given company or fund, type the ticker symbol into the search box. On the results page, you can click the link to see more data from Google Finance.

Example:  


Time
To see the time in many cities around the world, type in "time" and the name of the city.

Example:  

  
Sports Scores
To see scores and schedules for sports teams type the team name or league name into the search box. This is enabled for many leagues including the National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball.

All sports data provided by STATS, Inc.

Example:  




Reference Tools

Calculator
To use Google's built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you'd like done into the search box.

Example:  


Book Search
If you’re looking for results from Google Book Search, you can enter the name of the author or book title into the search box and we’ll return any book content we have as part of your normal web results. You can click through on the record to view more detailed info about that author or title.

Example:  

 
Earthquakes
To see information about recent earthquakes in a specific area type "earthquake" followed by the city and state or U.S. zip code. For recent earthquake activity around the world simply type "earthquake" in the search box.

Example:  


Unit Conversion
You can use Google to convert between many different units of measurement of height, weight, and volume among many others. Just enter your desired conversion into the search box and we’ll do the rest.

Example:  


Public Data
To see trends for population and unemployment rates of U.S. states and counties, type "population" or "unemployment rate" followed by a state or county. You can click through to a page that lets you compare different locations.

Example:  


People Profiles
If you're looking for someone you just met or a long-lost friend, enter the name of that person plus some identifying words about him or her to see a list of people with that name.

Example:  




Choosing Keywords

Synonym Search
If you want to search not only for your search term but also for its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your search term.

Example:  


Dictionary Definitions
To see a definition for a word or phrase, simply type the word "define" then a space, then the word(s) you want defined. To see a list of different definitions from various online sources, you can type "define:" followed by a word or phrase. Note that the results will define the entire phrase.

Example:  


Spell Checker
Google’s spell checking software automatically checks whether your query uses the most common spelling of a given word. If it thinks you’re likely to generate better results with an alternative spelling, it will ask “Did you mean: (more common spelling)?”. Click the suggested spelling to launch a Google search for that term.

Example:  




Local Search

Local Search
If you’re looking for a store, restaurant, or other local business you can search for the category of business and the location and we’ll return results right on the page, along with a map, reviews, and contact information.

Example:  


Movie Showtimes
To find reviews and showtimes for movies playing near you, type "movies" or the name of a current film into the Google search box. If you've already saved your location on a previous search, the top search result will display showtimes for nearby theaters for the movie you've chosen.

Example:  




Health Search

Health Conditions
To see information about a common disease or symptom, enter it into the search box and we'll return the beginning of an expert summary. You can click through to read the entire article in Google Health.

Example:  


Poison Control
You can quickly find the U.S. poison control hotline (1-800-222-1222) by entering "poison control" or similar phrases into the search box.

"Mr. Yuk" icon courtesy of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Example:  


Flu Shot Search
During flu season, search for "flu" to find tips on how to stay healthy from U.S. Health and Human Services and a flu shot locator which uses Google Maps to show you nearby locations offering seasonal and/or H1N1 flu vaccine.

Example:  




Trip Planning

Airline Travel Info
To see flight status for arriving and departing U.S. flights, type in the name of the airline and the flight number into the search box. You can also see delays at a specific airport by typing in the name of the city or three-letter airport code followed by the word "airport".

Example:
Example:


Currency Conversion
To use our built-in currency converter, simply enter the conversion you’d like done into the Google search box and we’ll provide your answer directly on the results page.

Example:  


Maps
Looking for a map? Type in the name or U.S. zip code of a location and the word "map" and we’ll return a map of that location. Clicking on the map will take you to a larger version on Google Maps.

Example:  




Query Refinements

 Plus (+) Operator
Google ignores common words and characters such as where, the, how, and other digits and letters that slow down your search without improving the results. If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can make sure we pay attention to it by putting a "+" sign in front of it.

Example:  


Related Search
To search for web pages that have similar content to a given site, type "related:" followed by the website address into the Google search box.

Example:  


Fill in the Blank
Sometimes the best way to ask a question is to get Google to ‘fill in the blank’ by adding an asterisk (*) at the part of the sentence or question that you want finished into the Google search box.

Example:  




Search by Number

Package Tracking
You can track packages by typing the tracking number for your UPS, Fedex or USPS package directly into the search box. We’ll return results that include quick links to easily track the status of your shipment.

Example:  


Patent Numbers
To search for U.S. patents, enter the word "patent" followed by the patent number into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button.

Example:  


Area Code
To see the geographical location for any U.S. telephone area code, just type the three-digit area code into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button.

Example: